Fear

July 25, 2011
What are you afraid of?  Elevators, public speaking, abandonment, spiders, failure?
We all experience fear in some form during our lives.  It’s an emotion everyone has experience with.  It’s fuel for some and crippling for others.  Though intense fears don’t persist in my current life,  I’ve had my share of them throughout my life.   Here’s a summary highlight reel & timeline:
  • In early childhood in the late 70’s I was scared to walk in the grass.  In my defense there were sharp walnut fragments in it. :)
  • In junior high and high school in a small Kansas town I was was scared of red eyed [from 3.2 beer]  red-necked bullies.  I was too mouthy. Thankfully Home Kalinka, my friend and bodyguard, loved fighting.  Homer and his family called me “senator.”
  • In late college in Lawrence, KS  one hard summer I was scared that I’d lost my identity and “was not sure if I’d every be able to love.”  Self induced mental imprisonment enabling complete irrationality for a few months was heavy for a 19 year old that had always maintained  bulletproof self esteem.  This is the period my intentional introspection began.
  • After college during my move to the west coast to a city I’d never visited (LA) I lived with a nagging fear that I might have to pack my bags and move back to the Heartland.
  • I allowed the fear of failure in sales to fuel 4am-6pm shifts during my early days at salesforce.com.  Had I really regained my rationality? :)
  • A year before my six year marriage ended I faced a fear [that I did my best to ignore] that my life partner might not be the right one.  The fear that if my marriage failed I would was present for a flash of time.
  • When I made a hard decision to leave one of the most successful companies of all time (salesforce.com), a company that I knew could sustain me for the rest of my career, I experienced some fear.   On one occasion during my transition out, I can even remember being light-headed and having knots in my stomach.  salesforce.com was more like a human breakup, if you can belief it.  After all, I spend 25% of my life there :).
  • In the past year, I’ve faced a felt fear that I might not be able to handle several things that my fantastic two year  (current relationship) presented.
  • I sometimes fear that physical problems with my hips and back might keep me from running in the woods for my entire life.  This stems from physical challenges my dad has faced in his 50’s and 60’s.   Other father-son and recovery related fears I’ll reserve for another post.

Mostly, I fear I might not live up to my potential in life, that  I might not inspire and motivate the number of people that I know I can.  I’m willing to list and look at all the fears related to my Core4 living values.  Knowing the below helps me avoid the below.  In summary, I fear I:

[Soul] could get selfish..could stop being myself to please others…could abandon my inner life.  I could forget that all is one.

[Tribe] could stop supporting myself and others…could lose a grip on the importance of Home…could let down or lose my girls.

[Health] could break down physically…am not actually as smart as I think I am…could put beginner mind behind me and get cocky…

[Action] could pick the wrong role…fail to reach a goal…could become a Man of Inaction…could simply quit and hide.

Luckily,  I live in my truth everyday.   I’m fueled by a consistent surge of Belief Energy because I stand by and live in my Core4 (values) every minute of everyday.  I know they’ll evolve.  My Core4+2 are not rigid.  They are present, not permanent…nothing is.

(Soul)  I’m myself.  I’m compassionate.  The more of these I am, the more goodness I magnetize and invite into my life.

(Tribe)  I experience and offer support.  I feel a sense of being Home.  The more of these I practice, the more connected I feel.

(Health)  I keep my body and physical health  in a cycle of Surge and Rest. I keep my mind open and sharp via Curiosity.

(Action)  I am a Man of Action everyday and I always maintain an awareness of my Roles and Goals.

Waking up…really waking up and being willing to define your core values and corresponding walls (like fear) pours light on something that can otherwise nag or debilitate you without you even knowing it.  We can make all the plans and goals in the world,  but without understanding what they’re rooted in (your truth), what they’ll be trampled by (like fear) and what will help you sustain what you need on the journey, at the summit and beyond you won’t experience your optimal life.

Looking around AND within, defining a Core4 and living by it, recognizing fear and not letting it rule…Good…that’ll scale.  : )

Remaining asleep and unconscious, choosing selfishness, letting fear fester or rule…Not so good…doesn’t scale. : (

Assignment: List your Core4+2 out on a piece of paper.  Make a list of fears that could prohibit you from living in your core values.  Host a discussion with someone you love or a coach or therapist.  Be sure they know what your fears are so they can help you get past them and back on track if they start to get the upper hand.
Assignment Phase 2: Find something physical or visual to ground yourself in your values for when fear rears it’s important yet unpleasant head.  I, for example, have a black dot on my left thumbnail.  Anytime one of my fears crops up…I pause,  look at my thumb, take a breath and brace for a supportive burst of Belief Energy.

4 Responses to Fear

  1. Ken Schmdit on July 25, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Nice post….I commented on LI to help distribute…..Ken

    • bryangbreckenridge on July 30, 2011 at 5:32 PM

      Thanks, Ken! I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for checking in.

  2. S Riley on August 16, 2011 at 6:26 AM

    BB, this post struck some strong cords with me. We all live in fear of something and the toughest thing to do is dig deep within ourselves and find out what it really is at the core and then work our asses off to do the right thing to overcome…to live the right way. I need to spend more time on this to create greater happiness for myself and everyone in my life…great post.

    • bryangbreckenridge on August 16, 2011 at 1:51 PM

      You can do it, bud. If anyone in the world can. It’s you.

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